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How to Carry out a Successful Training Session

Updated on July 29, 2010

Any successful training session must begin with adequate preparation by the trainer. Preparation is multi-pronged and would essentially cover a number of areas. It begins with research; research into all aspects of the training.

The trainer needs to understand and have a full grasp of the coursework. What needs to be covered, how much can be covered during the time allotted/planned. The trainer must anticipate and list all questions delegates are likely to ask with the corresponding responses. He/she must go further and list the possible misconceptions that the delegates may have regarding the subject.

It is imperative to survey the training environment where the training shall take place. This allows the trainer to plan sitting arrangements, request equipment or plan for it and any other facilities that may be necessary.

The motives and desired outcomes of the client/company must be understood. What does the client or company hope to achieve with the training? It is not uncommon for a company’s motive to be to “brainwash” or “hypnotize” staff to act or behave in a particular way so that the company can achieve a desired result. For example, in sales, the company may expect a sales trainer to get the team fired up and throw in a couple of ‘go get em tiger!’ sort of phrases during the training. The company may not state this explicitly but a candid chat with the guy(s) in charge of planning the session should reveal the true intentions. Once the motives are understood, then the trainer can advice the company accordingly and/or temper their expectations. This point is closely related with the next point.

The trainer must establish what the delegates think of the training. What are their perceptions? They may very well differ with those of the client/company. It is common for staff to take the opportunity that training sessions provide to vent frustration and anger, which is all good but could prove disastrous for an unprepared trainer. The trainer must therefore understand the mindset of the delegates before the training commences.

The training material should be easy to understand and immediately usable. It should also be current; no point using a 1970s manual to train a team of management professionals. Chances are the theory may be obsolete. The theory used must as much as possible be merged with the experiences of the delegates.

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